Cancer researchers and clinicians from all over the world recently met in Doha as part of an effort to forge ties between international institutions and to increase Qatar’s contribution to research into the disease.
Cancer used to be the third most common cause of death in Qatar, according to 2008 statistics.
But last year, it climbed to the number one cause of death here, according to a presentation given last month by Sidra Medical and Research Centre Director Dr. William Owen.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)’s National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) organised the recent workshop.
The NCCCR is already collaborating in international research, with this workshop focusing on its recent participation in a project that involved 23 cancer centres in 17 countries.
Interviewed by the Gulf Times, HMC’s Medical Research Centre chair Dr. Al Hareth al-Khater says of HMC’s cancer research strategy:
“We are working more closely with colleagues, clinical and academic, in Qatar and other excellent centres around the world on specific research projects that will help patients locally and internationally. This will support the national goal of promoting Qatar as a significant location for cancer research and innovation.”
The strategy, which aims to improve survival rates and quality of life, recommends that more Qatari scientists are trained to become cancer researchers, and calls for more investment in cancer research.
$605 million investment
Qatar also plans to host an International Cancer Research Conference.
The Cancer Research Strategy follows the National Cancer Strategy, which was launched in May last year.
The $605 million strategy promises a national centre for cancer care and research and a new cancer hospital within the next five years.
It also seeks to ensure fast access to a cancer specialist, with waiting times reduced to two-weeks by the end of 2011 and within 48 hours by 2015.
Credit: Photo by CIMMYT